Annual Title IX/Sexual Harassment Report released

Today Stanford University released its third annual Title IX/Sexual Harassment Report , which outlines the ways in which the university responded to reported concerns of sexual harassment, sexual violence and gender discrimination on campus and in all programs and activities connected to Stanford. The report includes information about reports of prohibited sexual conduct involving students, faculty and staff during the period from Sept. 1, 2018, to Aug. 31, 2019.

The ASSU is sponsoring a town hall meeting with the provost to discuss sexual violence on campus, including the results from this report, on Dec. 3 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in Building 200-002 and it is open to all Stanford community members.

The university responded to 279 reported incidents in 2018-19, up from 211 in 2017-18. The increase is due, in part, to the inclusion of the category of gender discrimination, which is new in the latest report.

The number of formal completed investigations decreased from the previous year - from 57 to 52. However, interventions increased significantly - from 49 to 102. Interventions take place when an allegation, if true, would not rise to the level of a policy violation, but the conduct is nonetheless objectionable. Interventions also occur when a complainant does not want the university to conduct a full investigation and the university considers it an appropriate way to address the concerns.

"It’s important to share this report with the Stanford community so that we can all be aware of the prevalence of sexual violence, sexual harassment and gender discrimination on our campus; understand the Title IX process, and determine how we will continue to address this very serious issue," Provost Persis Drell said.

"Publishing the annual Title IX report is one of the ways we can hold ourselves accountable as a community. Creating a campus culture free of sexual violence and all other unwanted sexual behavior is our goal and reaching that goal will require the involvement of every member of the campus community."

The 2018-19 Title IX/Sexual Harassment Report was prepared by the Office of Institutional Equity and Access. The data in the report were compiled from reports collected by Stanford’s Title IX Office, the Sexual Harassment Policy Office and Human Resources/Employee Labor and Relations during the 2018-19 academic year. Most reports are related to recent incidents, however, in some instances, the incidents took place prior to Sept. 1, 2018, but weren’t reported until later.

The Title IX Report contains information about all reported incidents, including those where there was insufficient information to proceed despite attempts to obtain additional information. To respect the privacy of affected individuals, the data are presented without revealing details about particular cases.

Earlier this year, the university released two other reports that provide data on the prevalence of sexual violence and sexual harassment at Stanford: the AAU Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct and the Annual Safety, Security and Fire Report. The Title IX Report contains a chart that outlines what information is included in each of these reports.

"Because each report covers different timeframes and jurisdictions, it’s difficult to cross-reference the data from the three reports," said Lauren Schoenthaler, senior associate vice provost for institutional equity and access. "But they all point to one conclusion: we have more work to do at Stanford to eliminate gender discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual violence on our campus."

Prevention, education efforts and next steps

The Sexual Harassment Policy Office (SHPO) and the Office of Sexual Assault & Relationship Abuse Education and Response (SARA) at Stanford currently offer a wide range of prevention and education programs, projects and events. These efforts are outlined in the report and on the SARA website.

In light of the annual Title IX report and the recent AAU survey, the university is re-evaluating its current programs. National experts will be on campus during winter quarter to conduct a review of the offices within Institutional Equity & Access that provide support and response on matters of sexual violence and harassment. The reviewers will provide recommendations for improving the experiences of community members who have experienced or been accused of sexual violence or harassment.

In addition, the university is conducting further analysis of the data from the AAU survey. The plan is to compare results with peer institutions to identify best practices, with the goal of improving processes and services and reducing the prevalence of sexual harassment and sexual violence.


"From the data in the AAU survey and from national statistics, we assume that the actual numbers of incidents of prohibited sexual conduct at Stanford are much greater than are being reported to us," Drell said. "I hope that the annual publication of the Title IX report encourages anyone experiencing unwanted sexual conduct to come forward so that the issue can be addressed."

Support related to sexual violence and additional information about resources and policies can be found on the Sexual Violence Support & Resources website.